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“I didn’t mean it” – Nayana Nair

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I did mean it all,
I just didn’t want you to know.
My momentary courage-
the result of my long sleepless nights,
let’s agree to call it my foolishness.
For I won’t do anything as preposterous as that ever again.
I won’t expect much from you again,
not because I was at wrong.

Even though it was the only thing I could do,
I regret it so much.
I hate myself for trying to believe in you,
for pushing myself to do the right thing
for your sake.

As always you eat fast and cut me off.
As always you have somewhere to go.
There are too many people whom you must keep happy.
Today I won’t throw everything on my plate for you.
I won’t come to door to see your cold back.

I wish I could go back to the dreams
where I told you about my life, about my pain
and you held me as I cried,
where you took me to the doors of my new life.
But instead all I see in every face is your face.
In your face all I see is my pathetic self
who wanted to lean on someone like you.

“Keeping alive the happy me” – Nayana Nair

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My day to day wanderings
take me to places and people
(and websites)
who have never known a happy me.
I ask them “am i fine today?”
and they answer “yes”.
So I search the map
for a river in a distant city to cry by.
So that they continue answering ‘yes’.
So I can continue calling this hiding a “fresh start”.

“Have a Good Day” – Nayana Nair

I was sat down and told repeatedly everyday
that though the world belongs to all of us,
sometimes it is better
to step back,
to only take up the space we need.
I misunderstood it to be a lesson in humility,
wanting less, and sacrifice,
but I realize now that it was not so.
I was told to stop before I anger someone,
before someone got jealous,
or before they saw the weakness of my gender.

As I stand on the balcony at midnight
and hear drunk shady men shouting, cursing, and stumbling,
as they make their way to their broken homes,
I remind myself
this is what I am supposed to fled,
a person who is allowed to loose their mind,
a person who will always have excuse to hurt.
This what everyone wanted me to become,
someone who is proficient at spotting dangers,
who can conjure up the worst possible scenarios
when they hear another’s footsteps on deserted streets,
and see the worst possible demons in the face of men.

These days I often hear people say
that the new meaning of a powerful woman is
the one who walks into misfortune willingly,
before she is stalked and defeated by it.
Is this the only alternative to what I am living?

I wish that when I walked past a stranger on streets
I could smile and wish them a good day,
without having to fear being misunderstood,
without the echoes of ‘she asked for it’ in my mind.

“Just Poems” – Nayana Nair

My mind that understands
is chained and crippled by its understanding.
It only tries to understand new words
by comparing it to
what has already written or read.
It only understands feelings in terms of
the pain it has given
or all it has suffered.

-o-

So when I stand in front of the doors of a poem
feeling the sting of December winds on my back.
When I ring the doorbell
and hear from other side “May I come inside?”
I immediately know that this not something
that I understand,
that there is a difference
in reading as if
sitting on the couch in a stranger’s house
waiting to be entertained
and reading as if
I have let the stranger in my own mind
and allowed him to change
the view I have of this world.

-o-

Some poems are not just poems.
They are voices that never die
because they have never been born.
They are ghosts that we have always wanted to haunt.
They are names we give to our own suffering,
a closure that only we can give to ourselves.

“What I Remember(6)” – Nayana Nair

I am writing this poem
because for an hour my mind is butchering
every beautiful thing in the world
to get that one line that can finish the thirst of this page.
And nothing beautiful remains beautiful
when such desperate hands
hack at it, cut it into grotesque chunks
and then fail terribly when trying to stuff them
into these mascots figures, these alphabets.
I call this a poem
because I can call it nothing else.
I call this a poem
because years ago a naive me
reached the conclusion
that the only way
a moment can live on,
a feeling can be recorded,
without the burden of the reason of its existence
is if it becomes a poem
and because the current me
doesn’t know how to deal with myself,
the current me knows nothing but to write,
and has nothing of substance that moves it’s heart.
And I fear myself
for the ease with which I refer to myself as ‘it’,
only because I became useless for few minutes.
I end up documenting my fear
of becoming empty,
of becoming blind,
and calling it a poem.
I end up felling helpless in newer ways
and I am forced to call it a new beginning
because giving every sorrow a beautiful name
is all that I capable of.

“Weeds of our Garden” – Nayana Nair

We sit here all day, in our own corners.
The only corner that we could save from the world that we left.
The only piece of happiness we decided to carry on ourselves
because we didn’t wanted to be considered pitiful for clinging to something.
Because once we thought that feelings such as these are only hindrance.
Because we saw love as lint on our fine clothing,
something that should be removed like weeds from the garden of our ambition.
Believed that if we are enough, if we have enough
we can always find new friends and new love.

***

In the wind, there always used to be a rumor of someone
drunk on past, the one who used to shout and sing at midnight
songs about how nothing new he bought,
no one new he gave his heart to
could make him forget
about all those he had turned his back on.
My friend, I am afraid we have become that same person.
And we are pathetic not because we loved too much
but because we couldn’t love anyone,
not even ourselves.

“My Possessions”- Nayana Nair

All objects that I possess
have stopped doing what they were meant to do.
The window doesn’t bring me new air.
The bed doesn’t give me rest.
The glass filled with water and handful of pills
promise me disconnection from reality, sleep, or even death
but never the rest that I so want.
The words on my books run around on pages, hating my gaze.
The music breaks itself into disjointed string on noises.

It is as if one night
while I lay trying to forget you,
they voted and decided to forget me unanimously.
They agreed and concluded
that if someone must be forgotten
it is me.
So now they rebel,
they serve only purpose-
to remind me
of all I lost simply by losing you.

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